In Phoenix, vehicular manslaughter is punished extremely severely. If you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurs, the offense is seriously compounded. If you are charged with vehicular manslaughter under the influence in Phoenix, you face multiple charges based on two factors:
Being charged with vehicular manslaughter under the influence in Phoenix can stop your life in its tracks both personally and professionally speaking. Therefore, if you find yourself charged with vehicular manslaughter under the influence in Phoenix, we recommend consulting an experienced DUI attorney who will aggressively fight to make sure your rights are upheld throughout the entire process.
What Are the Vehicular Manslaughter Laws in Phoenix?
Phoenix does not have a statute that deals specifically with vehicular manslaughter. Rather, it classifies vehicular manslaughter as a 2nd degree murder charge, which makes it a class 2 felony crime. You can face vehicular manslaughter charges if you cause a deadly accident due to recklessly negligent acts like:
Excessively speeding- Including traveling 35 miles an hour or more in a school zone, exceeding the posted speed limit in a business or residential zone by more than 20 miles an hour, or more than 45 miles an hour if not posted, as well as exceeding 85 miles per hour in all other areas.
Street racing- Including initiating or taking part in a demonstration of speed, an acceleration contest, or a drag race on a street or highway.
Aggressively driving (or road rage)- Including disobeying traffic signs or signals, unsafely changing lanes, passing vehicles in an unlawful manner, and/or following too closely.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)- Including operating or having physical control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.08, or 0.04 for drivers of commercial vehicles (A.R.S. 28-1381). Also, if you are under the influence of any substance not legally prescribed (A.R.S. 13-3401).
Even without a DUI crime being involved, a vehicular manslaughter conviction for a first time offender can result in a class 2 felony charge, which carries a presumptive sentence of 10.5 years in prison, and fines of up to $150,000 plus any civil liabilities you might incur.
What are the DUI Laws in Phoenix?
If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs when you commit vehicular manslaughter, you will face multiple charges relating to that one event. Phoenix is tougher on driving under the influence than most other states in the nation (DUI Sentencing Guidelines). Phoenix Revised Statute 28-1381 states that:
A person can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is between .08% and .0149%, or if their BAC is between .05% and .08% but they are exhibiting signs of being under the influence. Also, if you register more than .00% and less than .05% and exhibit signs of being under the influence, you can still face DUI charges.
For a first time offender, a standard DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor that carries hefty fines, a jail sentence of up to 6 months behind bars, as well as additional penalties including probation, alcohol treatment or counseling, suspension of your license, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and random drug testing.
The penalties for extreme and super extreme DUIs are even harsher, and if you have multiple DUI offenses, each offense will compound your financial penalties and sentencing punishment as well.
How Does Vehicular Manslaughter Under the Influence Compound a Sentence?
Due to the compounded nature of a serious crime like this, being charged with vehicular manslaughter under the influence takes both charges into account, and penalizes you for both if you are convicted. Let’s say that you are a first time offender intoxicated at extreme DUI levels (so .149% to .199%), and cause an accident that ends up killing another person:
You will face a class 2 felony charge for vehicular manslaughter with aggravated circumstances (due to the DUI crime), which carries a sentence of up to 21 years in prison, and fines of up to $150,000 plus any civil liabilities you might incur.
Trust Phoenix DUI Attorney With Your Vehicular Manslaughter DUI Defense in Phoenix
The best way to ensure you are not charged with a crime as life-altering as vehicular manslaughter under the influence is to make sure you do not drive while you are intoxicated, even down the street to the market. However, if for whatever reason you are arrested for a vehicular manslaughter DUI, it is essential to consult a defense attorney with proven experience defending hit and run under the influence charges of all severities. We will not stop fighting for your rights, by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is available to you. If you are facing vehicular manslaughter under the influence charges in Phoenix, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 480-900-5177.